NDP MPP Gilles Bisson’s PMB to cap executive salaries fails to pass second reading

NDP MPP Gilles Bisson’s Private Member’s Bill Capping Top Public Sector Salaries Act failed to pass its second reading in the legislature this afternoon. The bill sought to cap salaries in the public sector that exceed twice that of the Premier’s – currently $209,000 per year.

Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath introduced similar bills in 2010 and 2013, both times the Liberals voted against them. The Ontario Liberals have come under fire in recent months due to skyrocketing salaries for executives at Hydro One – the incoming CEO is expected to make a salary in excess of $4 million per year. Executive salaries at community care access centres increased by 27 per cent over the last four years and most executives at the Pan Am Games are expected to receive performance bonuses that would double their salaries.

NDP Health & Long-Term Care Critic France Gélinas issued the following statement:

“People go into medical school because they want to help people. But right now our government is painting physicians as money-hungry opportunists. When the government acts this way they are damaging our healthcare system and creating barriers to care for the people who need it the most. 

The government needs to listen to Ontario physicians and get back to the bargaining table. When the government makes unilateral decisions it never works. Regardless of what profession you’re in, finding a middle ground is the key to progress. It may not be comfortable for everyone involved, but it’s how things get done.

This government needs to get back to the bargaining table as soon as possible. Physicians deserve respect and they deserve to be compensated for the hard work they do and the care they provide to Ontarians. The Minister should know better than to cause damage to our healthcare system.”  

Statement from NDP Education critic Lisa Gretzky

NDP Education critic Lisa Gretzky issued the following statement: 

"The fact that the government returned to the bargaining table with ETFO only after a complaint was filed with the Ontario Labour Relations Board shows that this government continues to have very little respect for the work of education workers or the efforts of the parents who work co-operatively with them.

The Premier and her Minister of Education continue to undervalue the hard work of education workers across Ontario. 

Gates: Premier must ensure OLG honours its pension obligations

NDP MPP for Niagara Falls Wayne Gates today asked the Premier to ensure that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) honours its pension obligations to its workers, who have been locked out since September 19th.

“What these workers want is simple. They want to know that the pensions they have been paying in to for so long will be protected. The pensions that provide, in the Premier’s words, ‘a secure and predictable income in retirement,’” said Gates.

Premier’s reductions to offender intervention programs put woman and children at risk: NDP

NDP Women’s Issues critic Peggy Sattler called on the Premier to stop ignoring experts and community leaders who are sounding the alarm about recent changes to the Partner Assault Response (PAR) Program. 

“Will the Premier stop ignoring the advice of experts and community leaders? Will she place a moratorium on any further cuts to PAR and instead start listening to the voices of survivors, PAR providers, community service agencies and criminal justice professionals in reviewing the PAR program?” asked Sattler, MPP for London West.

Don’t let Infrastructure Ontario investigate its own cover-up

NDP MPP Taras Natyshak today asked Premier Wynne to take the investigation of a fraud and cover-up involving a former Infrastructure Ontario executive away from Infrastructure Ontario and turn it over to an independent third party, and commit to making the findings public.  
“In the past two weeks, we have learned that you can be a top procurement executive at Infrastructure Ontario, you can admit to procurement fraud, and nothing will happen. Senior executives at Infrastructure Ontario, and possibly the board, can know about your fraud and you can still stay in business,” Natyshak said. “The Premier’s Chief of Staff can know about your fraud, and you can still be put in charge of procuring a $300 million patient centre.”

Government fails to reign in university executive salaries: NDP

NDP MPP Peggy Sattler today asked the President of the Treasury Board to prohibit double-salary deals for university presidents, and called on the government to move forward with her Private Member’s Bill on postsecondary compensation. 

“Speaker, my question is to the President of the Treasury Board. Yesterday, former Justice Stephen Goudge released his review of presidential compensation practices at Western University. The review was conducted because of a double-salary payout that allowed the president to legally earn almost $1 million last year – a payout that Justice Goudge believes should no longer be permitted,” Sattler said.

Premier Must Respect All Education Workers and Return to Bargaining Table, NDP Education Critic

Today, Windsor West MPP and NDP Education Critic Lisa Gretzky continued to press Premier Wynne to respect all education workers and commit to bargaining with all parties in education.

“Education workers clean and repair our schools, make sure that all the proper forms go out and the records are kept, and they provide one-on-one care for students with special needs – a crucial bridge between these students' complex needs and their educational outcomes,” said Gretzky. "These students deserve to be successful too. Why won’t this government roll up its sleeves, get back to the bargaining table with all parties in the education system and treat this issue with urgency?"

Premier must come clean about Sudbury by-election talks: NDP

NDP MPP for Timmins-James Bay Gilles Bisson called on the Premier during Question Period this morning to answer whether or not she briefed the Member for Sudbury Glenn Thibeault on the by-election nomination process in Sudbury. Andrew Olivier, the Liberal candidate for Sudbury, was well known to Thibeault at the time the alleged bribery took place.

Gerry Lougheed, a high-ranking Liberal fundraiser on the Sudbury campaign team, has been accused of offering bribes to Olivier so he would drop out of the by-election, thereby allowing a spot for Thibeault to campaign. The OPP has since filed two criminal charges against Lougheed.


Horwath calls on Premier to be honest with Ontarians about her role in Sudbury bribery scandal

This morning the Ontario Provincial Police laid criminal charges against senior Liberal operative Gerry Lougheed Jr. in the Sudbury bribery scandal. Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath called on the Premier to be honest with Ontarians about whose authority Mr. Lougheed was acting under.

“On the recordings Mr. Lougheed clearly said that he was acting ‘on behalf of the Premier’,” said Horwath. “Who gave the order? Who told him to make that job offer?”

Private homecare providers must get serious about bargaining with nurses: NDP

NDP MPP for Welland and Labour Critic Cindy Forster called on the Deputy Premier during Question Period this morning to answer to why over 100 frontline homecare providers have been left out on the street during a nearly six month strike as for-profit CarePartners in Welland continues to receive public dollars.

A negotiator for the private service provider brought forward a proposal last week that would force nurses to take on any additional costs associated with implementing the provincial government’s pension plan. The homecare workers had returned to the table in hopes to put an end to the strike. 


Statement by NDP Leader Andrea Horwath on Eid Al-Adha

Eid Mubarak to all Ontarians celebrating Eid Al-Adha -- marking the end of Haij, the annual Muslim pilgrimage, and commemorating the faith and sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim.

The generosity, compassion and community spirit of this holiday are vital qualities we can all reflect on to create a stronger and more prosperous Ontario for everyone.

Ontario New Democrats appreciate the immense contributions of members of the Muslim community to building a better province, and look forward to continuing these efforts together.

All the best for a joyous and bountiful Eid Al-Adha -- Eid Mubarak!

Andrea Horwath Statement on Yom Kippur

I would like to extend warm wishes to all of Ontarians observing Yom Kippur, one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar.

The Day of Atonement is a special opportunity to reflect on past struggles and prepare for positive change in the year ahead.

Tabuns: Poll confirms that most Ontarians expect their bills will rise faster with privatized Hydro One

NDP Energy critic Peter Tabuns today said that a new poll conducted by Campaign Research on behalf of the Ontarian Energy Association confirms that nearly 80% of Ontarians believe their hydro bills will rise faster because of the privatization of Hydro One. Tabuns said the poll also confirms what other polls have previously found: that a majority of Ontarians “strongly oppose” the Liberal government’s plans to privatize Hydro One. 

“More Ontarians believe Elvis is alive than believe a privatized Hydro One will save them money,” said Tabuns, noting that the poll found that only 5% of Ontarians believed their bills would be lower as a result of the sale. “This poll shows that almost 80% of Ontarians expect their hydro bills to rise even faster as a result of the privatization of Hydro One, and most Ontarians ‘strongly oppose’ the sale. The Liberal government needs to stop catering to its Bay Street friends, and start listening to the vast majority of Ontarians who oppose the sale of Hydro One.”

Hydro One sell-off will make Bay Street richer and stick Ontarians with higher bills: NDP

With the release of the preliminary prospectus for the Hydro One Initial Public Offering (IPO) Kathleen Wynne has shown that she is determined to ignore Ontarians, and is pushing ahead with her plan to sell-off Hydro One without any mandate or public support.

“Instead of looking out for the best interests of Ontarians Kathleen Wynne is more concerned with stuffing the pockets of a small group of Bay Street investors and Hydro One executives,” said Tabuns. “She has left Ontarians in the dark about her privatization plans and refuses to accept that fact the majority of people in our province want to keep Hydro One in public hands.”

Statement from NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky on stalled teacher negotiations

NDP MPP and Critic for Education Lisa Gretzky issued the following statement on stalled negotiations with Ontario’s public elementary school teachers.

NDP MPP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek Paul Miller issued the following statement on U.S. Steel’s intention to seek court order

“It is without question an outrage that U.S. Steel intends – if allowed – to suspend all obligations to pay post-employment benefits – health, medical, dental, and life insurance in order to pad the pockets of its U.S. parent company. 

These benefits are depended on by the company’s retirees and their survivors, people who’ve spent 30-40 years in many cases, giving their all to a company in a town that once proudly led the world in steel production. These benefits are deferred wages – negotiated through collective agreements – not handouts.

NDP MPP Monique Taylor’s Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Amendment Act passes second reading

NDP MPP and Critic for Children & Youth Services Monique Taylor’s private members bill, the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth Amendment Act, passed second reading this afternoon and will now go to committee

The Private Members’ Bill would require all agencies and service providers in Ontario to inform the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth if they become aware of the death or critical injury of a child where a Children’s Aid Society has been involved within 12 months of the death or injury.